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Things to Do in Australia - page 3

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75 Mile Beach
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This stretch of soft white sand is aptly named 75 Mile Beach due to the fact that it’s 75 miles (121 kilometers) long. Running along majority of Fraser Island’s east coast, the beach offers a number of experiences, although swimming is not advised due to the high number of tiger sharks. That being said off-roading and fishing are popular pastimes on the beach, as is visiting its many attractions. If you are wanting to swim safely there are the Champagne Pools, natural rock pools that feature frothy Champagne-like bubbles when waves crash over the rocks.

Additionally, Indian Head is a rocky outcrop popular for watching stingrays, fish, turtles, dolphins and sharks in the surf. Visitors can also visit theMaheno Wreck, once one of the world’s fastest ships and used for target practice by the Australian Airforce in WWII. After a bad storm in 1935 it was pushed to the beach’s shore as it was being towed to Japan to be scrapped. And no trip to 75 Mile Beach would be complete without experiencing Eli Creek, a crystal clear freshwater creek where you can enjoy a relaxing float. Something else interesting about 75 Mile Beach is it’s not just used for recreation, but also as a highway and runway, as the hard-packed sand makes for great off-roading and planes often land here.

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Warradjan Cultural Centre
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Located at the heart of the Kakadu National Park, the Warradjan Cultural Centre is devoted to telling the stories of Kakadu’s traditional landowners – the Aboriginal people (known locally as Bininj or Mungguy) who have inhabited the region for more than 50,000 years.

For visitors to Kakadu, the cultural center offers an important insight into the park’s history and its deep Aboriginal ties. Fascinating multi-media exhibitions focus on the lives of the ancient clans, the role of the tribal elders, hunting techniques, bloodlines and marriage rights, as well as the effects of white settlement and the recent history of the park. There’s also a gallery of Aboriginal arts and crafts and a gift shop on-site.

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Cataract Gorge Reserve
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The magnificent Cataract Gorge, a river gorge on the South Esk River right at the edge of Launceston, offers a wealth of outdoor recreation that feels a world away from the city. The reserve is home to the First Basin outdoor swimming pool, the world’s longest single-span chairlift, and a Victorian-era landscaped garden.

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Arthurs Seat Eagle
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A ride on the Arthurs Seat Eagle gondola whisks visitors to the 1,030-foot (314-meter) summit of Arthurs Seat—the highest point in the Mornington Peninsula. Spectacular views are guaranteed both during the climb and from the hilltop viewpoint, from which you can see Port Philips Bay and Melbourne on a clear day.

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Devils at Cradle Wildlife Park
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Devils @ Cradle is a wildlife sanctuary dedicated to the preservation of Tasmanian devils (though they also have a large number of quolls and other local creatures). See Tasmanian devils up close and personal, and learn about these mysterious marsupials and the current threats to their survival with ranger-led talks and tours.

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Watarrka National Park
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Watarrka National Park protects one of the Northern Territory's most legendary destinations, Kings Canyon.

It's a rocky red desert park of rugged geological formations and sheer-edged sandstone gorges plummeting to waterholes and unexpected oases of cycad palms.

Walking trails lead to lookouts for views over the canyon, and there are picnic tables at the sunset-viewing area and Kathleen Springs.

The overnight Giles Track takes you along the top of the range from springs to canyon, while the much easier Kathleen Springs walk takes 1.5 hours and is recommended for families.

To get the most out of your visit to Watarrka National Park, take a guided walk with a ranger or guide to learn about the spiritual significance of this land for the local Anangu people.

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Great Otway National Park
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Amid the sweeping coastal vistas and jagged sea cliffs of the Great Ocean Road, the Great Otway National Park serves up some of the most spectacular natural scenery along the famous drive. Stretching over 100,000 hectares along the southwest coast from Torquay to Princetown, the park encompasses a startling variety of scenery, from lush rainforest, waterfalls and lakes, to rocky bays, dramatic headlands and golden sand beaches.

The park makes a popular spot for hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding, with a network of waymarked trails and the 91km Great Ocean Walk running through the heart of the park. It’s also a hotspot for spotting native Australian wildlife, with key destinations including the Cape Otway Lighthouse, a prime spot for watching whales and dolphins along the coast; the Melba Gully, renowned for its glowworms; and the Otway Fly, where adventurous travelers can see the rainforest up close on the world’s longest treetop walk or a thrilling zip-line course.

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Great Ocean Road
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One of the world's most famous driving routes, Victoria's Great Ocean Road offers scenic surprises at every fork in the road. In signature Australian style, endless stretches of white sandy beaches are flanked by dense pockets of rain forest, charming coastal towns, and canopies populated by koalas.

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Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery
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Need a break from non­stop wine tasting in Victoria’s Yarra Valley? Decadent desserts, creamy fondue and rich ice cream are waiting for you at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. The scent of fresh chocolate alone is a treat, and here visitors can watch master European chocolatiers create edible masterpieces.

This shop is sure to satisfy the whole family with more than 250 chocolate products and free tastings. Devour sweet snacks or order from the café menu for breakfast or a light lunch. Once you’ve finishing indulging, work off those treats with a wander through the nearby gardens and wetlands conservation area.

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Cradle Mountain
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With its jagged dolerite peaks standing watch over a trio of glacial lakes, Cradle Mountain is the grand centerpiece of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tasmania Wilderness, the natural landmark also marks the north end of the famous Overland Track.

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More Things to Do in Australia

Albany's Historic Whaling Station

Albany's Historic Whaling Station

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Telling the story of Australia’s whaling industry and the Cheynes Beach Whaling Company—the last of the country’s whaling stations to close its doors, back in 1978— Albany's Historic Whaling Station offers insight into whale hunting, as well as the chance to explore onboard a real whale-chaser ship.

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Pink Lake (Hutt Lagoon)

Pink Lake (Hutt Lagoon)

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Western Australia’s Pink Lake, or the “Hutt Lagoon,” makes for some spectacular photo opportunities—a bright bubble gum-pink pool that stands in stark contrast to the azure ocean just to the west. The inland sea is a natural phenomenon, caused by its resident algae, and it’s one of just a handful of its kind in the world.

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Eli Creek

Eli Creek

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A popular tourist attraction, Eli Creek features a serene beauty with its crystal clear fresh waters and pearly white sand bottom. With over four million liters of water pouring from its mouth every hour, it is one of Fraser Island’s largest freshwater streams. Along with its beautiful beach location people enjoy visiting Eli Creek for a relaxing float down its pure waters. Its gentle current makes it a safe option for both adults and children. For those not interested in getting wet a scenic boardwalk allows you to walk around the creek on land.

As Eli Creek is located along Seventy-Five Mile Beach, visitors to Eli Creek can enjoy other attractions onsite. Along with off-roading, fishing and sunbathing there’s the onshoreMaheno wreck, which was once one of the fastest ships in the world and was used by the Australian Airforce for target practice during WWII. Additionally, the Champagne Pools provide safe saltwater swimming in an enclosed natural rock pool with foaming Champagne-like bubbles when the waves crash. Make sure to also go to Indian Head to see the many sharks, dolphins, stingrays and fish swimming through the water.

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Scenic World

Scenic World

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Situated at the heart of Australia’s Blue Mountains UNESCO World Heritage Site, Scenic World offers the rare chance to explore the mountains from all angles. Ride overhead in a cable car, hike along the valley floor, ride a train through mountain tunnels, and discover some of the most impressive scenery in Blue Mountains National Park.

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Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill

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Get a taste of life during Australia’s gold rush era with a visit to Sovereign Hill. A reproduction of an 1850s mining town, this outdoor museum is perched on the site of the Red Hill Mine. The mine shaft you see—as well as much of the equipment—is original.

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Kalbarri National Park

Kalbarri National Park

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With its multi-hued, sandstone hiking trails and rugged, coastal sea cliffs, Kalbarri National Park is one of Australia’s most awe inspiring corners. From the lookout atop the Z Bend trail, your gaze will fall 500 feet (152 m) to the Murchison River below, which has slowly carved a colorful gorge through millions of years of erosion. Down south along the coast, you’ll find Red Bluff Beach, where dusty red sandstone and turquoise waters add color and flare to the cove. Keep an eye out for echidna, wallabies, and 150 species of birds, as well as the whales, dolphins, and seabirds that soar and splash within eyesight from the park's six miles (9.5 km) of coastal cliff trails.

Given the park's location seven-hours from the major city of Perth, many visitors choose to experience Kalbarri as part of a multi-day, guided tour with transportation included. Tours range from three days to 19 days of exploring the Western Australian coastline with stops for outdoor activities and visits to other natural attractions, like Pinnacles Desert and Monkey Mia.

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Central Station Rainforest

Central Station Rainforest

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Central Station, once the central hub for the forestry department on Fraser Island, is a stunning and lush rainforest area located on Wanggoolba Creek of Fraser Island - one of the most scenic areas on the island!

Since the logging industry's departure in the late 1950s, Central Station is a popular picnic and camping spot for tourists with an information center which provides a history of the island and tips on the flora and fauna in the area.

Home to many specifies of plants, Central Station houses the massive Angiopteris ferns, which has the largest fern fronds in the world. Giant satinay and kauri trees also grow around the forest

The massive kauris have a soaring trunk and branches only start at the very top; these trees were prized as masts in the days of sailing boats. Satinay trees are regarded as biological marvels since the sand they grow in contain very little nutrients.

The area around Wanggoolba Creek not far from Central Station is one of the loveliest swathes of rainforest. There are paths in the surrounding rainforest where you can get up close to the palms and learn about the creatures and plants that inhabit the area.

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Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island

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Fringed with rocky coves, white sandy beaches, and sun-soaked shores, Rottnest Island’s natural pleasures are numerous—whale-watching, snorkeling, hiking and wildlife spotting along the coast, and taking in the ocean sunsets. At less than an hour from Perth, Rottnest Island, or “Rotto,” makes for an idyllic retreat from the city.

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McLaren Vale

McLaren Vale

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McLaren Vale is second only to Barossa Valley as South Australia’s top wine region. The region's wineries are spread out around the town of McLaren Vale, about 25 miles (41 kilometers) south of Adelaide. Soft, luscious Shiraz is the signature style, and more than 70 wineries offer tastings. Don't miss the vibrant local food scene.

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Maheno Shipwreck

Maheno Shipwreck

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The Maheno Shipwreck sits starkly rusting against the pristine sands of Cathedral Beach, a majestic and haunting site. The SSMaheno was built in 1904 in Scotland and was originally a world-class luxury liner. She became a hospital ship in the Mediterranean during WW1 after which she was purchased for the run between New Zealand and Australia.

In 1935, while being towed to Japan for scrap metal, a cyclone blew her ashore onto Fraser Island. Luckily, there were only a few crew members on board, who tried unsuccessfully to free her. Since then, three and a half stories of the ship have been buried below the sand.

After being used for bombing practice during WW2, the Maheno wreck was in pretty bad shape and has since rusted away. Still, she is an impressive site and is occasionally used as a kooky, lopsided wedding venue.

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Pinnacles Desert

Pinnacles Desert

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Although otherworldly in appearance, the Pinnacles Desert is 100 percent on planet earth. Located along the Indian Ocean's Coral Coast in Nambung National Park in Western Australia (WA), this vast sandy expanse is filled with towering limestone pillars. Plus, at only a few hours' drive from the city of Perth, the site makes for a popular and totally doable day trip.

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Mt. Wellington (Kunanyi)

Mt. Wellington (Kunanyi)

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Standing sentinel over Hobart, Mt. Wellington is also known as Kunanyi or simply “the Mountain.” The 4,170-foot (1,271-meter) peak offers unbeatable views over the Tasmanian capital, and the surrounding parklands serve as a popular recreational ground for city dwellers.

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Edith Falls (Leliyn)

Edith Falls (Leliyn)

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Located in Nitmiluk National Park in the Top End of the Northern Territory, Edith Falls (Leliyn) offer gorgeous views over the river, tiers of rock pools and waterfalls that cascade through the gully. All that, along with the area's wildlife, makes Edith Falls one of Australia's most picturesque -- not to mention underrated -- natural attractions.

The falls are full of water year-round, but the clear, dry season between May and September is the best time to visit. Even so, the area surrounding the falls is especially lush and green during the intense rains earlier in the year, so visitors are in for a treat no matter when they go.

A visit to the falls typically involves swimming, and Sweetwater Pool, as well as both the upper and lower pools, are all particularly suited for the activity. Visitors to the falls during the wet season, however, may find that swimming is off-limits due to potentially dangerous conditions.

Those looking to earn their refreshing swim can first head to one of the two walking trails at Edith Falls. The Leliyn Trail winds around and above the falls in a 1.6-mile circuit, with multiple lookout spots, a river crossing and a few choice swimming pools along the way. The Sweetwater Pool track is longer at 5.3 miles, but the quiet swimming spot it leads to is worth it. Visitors can undertake the walk as a day or nighttime hike, but it should be noted that overnight stays require a permit.

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Standley Chasm (Angkerle Atwatye)

Standley Chasm (Angkerle Atwatye)

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Standley Chasm, also known as Angkerle Atwatye, or just Angkerle, is a place of great significance to the local Aboriginal people. A spectacular slot gorge, the deep, narrow chasm cuts through the tough quartzite of the native stone and puts on a magnificent display of color and form as the sun passes through the sky.

Surrounding the chasm is a lush valley and an abundance of walking trails. A short walk from the kiosk to the chasm is particularly rewarding at midday when the sun shines directly overhead. Another walk from the kiosk heads west and climbs to a saddle with views of the area's mountains and valleys. For more avid hikers, sections 3 and 4 of the Larapinta Trail meet at Standley Chasm and can be hiked as either long day trips or overnight hikes.

Standley Chasm is the easiest place to access the Chewings Ranges for those who do not wish to hike the Larapinta Trail. The Chewings Ranges are home to some of the most rare and threatened wildlife of the West MacDonnell Ranges.

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